Short sale negotiations is my thang

Been negotiating short sales now for over 6 years. Started before all the hullabaloo of the foreclosure tsunami and the subprime meltdown. I remember it being so much easier to negotiate with loss mitigation because they weren’t so swamped with files. A few weeks was average for a response and approval.

Over the years, I’ve personally negotiated tons of successful short sales in many states around the country. The experience of being on the phone on a daily basis talking to banks, lenders, lienholders, the IRS, creditors, and vendors has really given me an education in how to negotiate effectively.

I LOVE to negotiate.

You get to really know the psychology of negotiating by doing it every day. How loss mitigators think, why they say the things they do, the tricks they’ll use to get the most money for the banks, who makes decisions and who doesn’t. It’s helped me to handle every objection and tactic in the book.

Also, being a part of several Short Sale mastermind groups over the years with some of the top short sale investors and realtors in the country has really skyrocketed the learning curve. As you know, there’s no substitute for experience and just diving into the fire. We share information, push each other to fine tune our businesses, and give one another total support. The great thing about being in a short sale mastermind is that we keep each other accountable. Everyone is the group is a performer. If we don’t do what we say we’re gonna do, it’s adios. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the masterminds.

Can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with you, so you can make your life and business easier and much more profitable. Stick around for negotiating strategies, tips, and real life loss mitigation stories on how to plow through the muck and roadblocks to get your deal done.

Where it all began…

My wife, 1 year old daughter, and I were living in Los Angeles back in 2001. The townhouse we were renting was haunted. No joke. Saw shadows moving, sounds, noises all the time. What bugged me most was that I was paying rent and the spirits were squatting rent free.

On top of that, the neighborhood where we resided was prone to crime. So just about every night, police surveillance helicopters whomped above us and blared their high beam search lights right into our bedroom window.

My daughter was having breathing issues due to the poor air quality. Couple that with the choppers and apparitions, I’m pretty sure the universe was sending my wife and me a message to get out of Dodge.

Well, I’m not one to mess with the universe, so I listened.

I was in LA because of my work. I was in the entertainment industry, freelancing at various production houses and studios in town: E!, Fox, Saban, NBC, writing and producing for film and television. Enjoyed my work, but had to do find a way to improve my daughter’s health and preserve our sanity.

In short, we needed a better quality of life.

Our goal was to get to Sedona, AZ. In fact, this was our goal for years. How to get there and what to do for work once I did get there were the answers I was looking for.

Well, as fate would have it, I was led to real estate. Don’t ask me why or how. I didn’t know the first thing about real estate investing. Didn’t know the language, how to get started, or even how to spell the word “howse.”

In a very short 3 months, between Feb and April of ’01, my life changed. With my wife’s insight to the world…my world… she said real estate ‘is it.’ She knew, I didn’t. But I listened.

We had very little money. I worked paycheck to paycheck. When I mentioned to her that I met a couple–who were very successful real estate investors who learned what they know at a ‘big shot guru’ real estate bookcamp–she said, “Go! This is it. This is our ticket out of here. I know it.”

I charged the $5k we didn’t have to our credit card and spent 5 days at a real estate seminar, feeling totally lost and depressed.

But something happened. I followed the “Action Guide” the guru gave us. The guide said that if I followed the steps outlined, I’d make $10k within 90 days. I never made $10k in one shot in my life.

45 days after leaving the bootcamp, my heart skipped a beat when one of the many offers I put in on houses in AZ got accepted. Needless to say, I was scared to death. Now what? Well, within 3 weeks we lease optioned the house for a $15,000 profit and $311 a month cashflow. I was floored.

Within 6 months, we bought 5 more rental properties in Northern AZ with none of our own money and moved out of LA and to Sedona in November 2001.

Today, my company specializes in short sales. We’ve been negotiating short sales for the past 6 years. Hundreds and hundreds of them.

I love to negotiate.

Stick around for some great insight and secrets on how to effectively negotiate mortgage and lien discounts with loss mitigators, creditors, the IRS, and any lienholder.

The road to real estate and short sale negotiating

I’m a descendant of the family of man. I grew up in Ocean Township, NJ over half century ago. Spent my youth at the beach negotiating waves and beating up my younger brother. My dad was a lifetime public school administrator and my mom was a nurse. Hard-working parents.

Really loved my childhood. My mother welcomed all the neighborhood kids into our house to play and raid the fridge. Jersey was a temperate clime, so we played baseball in the summer, football in the fall, threw blistering ice balls at each other in winter, and healed our wounds in the spring…only to repeat the cycle all over again. And beat up my brother.

As a kid, to make money, I’d go door to door negotiating with neighbors to use my services to rake the leaves or shovel snow or to buy greeting cards they didn’t need.  I remember always working, even at a young age, because I enjoyed it and the invigorating feeling of pulling my own weight. 

Graduated Ocean Township High School. Went to Emory University in Atlanta, GA in the 70’s. My hair looked like Linc from the Mod Squad. If the reference is dated, think Malcolm Gladwell or Art Garfunkel. Get the picture? Not pretty. Dates were hard to come by…no surprise there. 

Majored in Biology and took lots of sciences. Thought I wanted to go to Med School, but instead went to Dental School. But only for a year. Because while in college, my main love was comedy. Directed and performed in an improvisational sketch comedy group for 4 years. I left dental school after my freshman year and moved to Chicago to study with Second City. I found my bliss, my passion! 

Performed in two improv groups for a couple years, then started doing standup comedy. This was in the early 80’s. My standup career lasted 15 years. Moved from Chicago to New York City in ’85 and settled in at The Improv as my home club. Worked the circuit, went on the road, did some tv. Really loved making peeps laugh. When the club scene fizzled in the early 90’s due to over exposure and saturation, I started performing on cruise ships. Worked all over the Caribbean. Had a blast.

In ’95, my girlfriend (now wife) and I moved to LA. I was writing screenplays, so I figured LA’s the place to be. Plus, I just got a new agent who was very encouraging. While making the production rounds, I made my way as a copywriter and producer for tv and film promos, trailers, epk’s, movies, popular shows like Seinfeld and Frasier, kids’ programming, news and sports, and sales packages. 

Got married in ’96 to the most amazing woman on the planet. Been together 17 years and it keeps getting better. Our daughter was born in ’99. In ’01 we moved to Sedona to raise her in the clean air and natural beauty. My career also changed…drastically. Plunged into real estate investing knowing very little about real estate.

Took a bootcamp and WHAMMO! I’m an investor. Go figure. With my wife’s support (since we had little money, I needed all the help I could get) I learned how to buy houses with no money and no credit. In 18 short months we bought 40 houses with none of our own money. Rentals and lease options. Fell into short sales in ’03.  Found I had a knack for negotiating with the banks. Been negotiating short sales full time ever since.

So over the past few years I’ve taught and coached investors short sales and how to negotiate effectively. Feel very fortunate to have learned from some wonderfully talented, smart, and generous people. Belonging to several mastermind groups over the years has also helped. Invaluable, actually. I surround myself with people and businessfolk who keep me on my toes, honest, call me on my bs, and give it to me straight. We share ideas, strategies, and stay current with the market and all the changes and challenges that are taking place at lightning speed.

I’m a lucky man.

I still beat up my brother. Headlocks, mostly.

Now it’s time to share what I know with you…